Tuesday, February 25, 2014

dear life.......

Advice, both the act of giving and receiving, is so incomparably odd and yet so much a part of the human existence. We seem to be always asking for advice, for someones informed (or entirely uninformed) thoughts, for someones careful consideration of our situation and their ensuing words of wisdom. Often, we take advice from those famous and infamous pillars of the previous month, year, decade or century or even some obscure centuries old Roman scholar, who wrote one good book and has lived off the royalties ever since. 

But advice is a double edged sword. Despite that fact that we ask for it, we don’t really want it. Or, more specifically, we want the advice we had already constructed in our heads to be regurgitated by those we seek out, so we may reaffirm that we are doing everything right. That we are on the right path, that we will get there, that is a momentary speed hump - you get the point. 

I, myself, have a tricky relationship with advice. I’ll give you mine, if you ask for it, but I struggle to accept it. Call it some fancy notion of pride, or an unwillingness to divulge real emotion, or just the fact that I’d rather you kept anything you regurgitate to yourself, but I struggle to take advice. However, there is one piece of advice that I’m willing to take - without pre-constructing or regurgitating it - and that is the little snippet that appears to be popping up, and popping up again and then again, and then again.

To write better, one must read. Not necessarily read better books, just read. Full stop. 

A year of intense study and equally intense wondering along the lines of what am I doing and where am I going distracted me from the end goal, which for the uninitiated is writing. 

It’s always been writing. I tried to trick myself into thinking it was other things, but your subconscious has a way of sorting your own bullshit out for you. And before you know it, you are right where you should be. 

So if, as the advice says, writing better is a direct result of reading more, I’ve decided that yes, I will, in fact make a new years resolution. I’m going to read, I’m going to read lots and lots of words, and sentences and whole paragraphs. And then I’m going to write lots and lots of words, and sentences and whole paragraphs. 

And I’m starting with this. Because what better way to start than with…Dear Life

kb xx

p.s book recommendations wanted, needed, repaid with gratefulness and a deep appreciation.